- BERLIN (AFP) - Videotape
shown by NATO
to explain the killing of at least 14 civilians aboard a
train on a
bridge in Serbia last April was shown at triple its real speed,
German daily Frankfurter Rundschau reports in its Thursday edition.
- The alliance had
sought to excuse the killing of the
civilians by saying the train had
been traveling too fast for the trajectory
of the missiles to have been
changed in time.
- NATO warplanes fired two missiles at the 50 metre (yard)-long
bridge over the Juzna Morava River at Grdelica Klisura, some 300
(180 miles) south of Belgrade on April 12 during its
campaign to force
Belgrade's troops to leave Kosovo.
- NATO's supreme
commander in Europe, US General Wesley
Clark, shortly afterwards showed
two videotapes of the train appearing
to be traveling fast on the
bridge, and said it had then been impossible
to alter the missiles'
- The Frankfurt newspaper said the two videotapes were
at three times normal speed.
- A spokesman for NATO'S military command in Mons,
acknowledged in a telephone interview with AFP that those
images had been
altered by "a technical problem."
- The footage, recorded
by a camera installed in the warhead
of one of the missiles that
destroyed the bridge and train were altered
during the process of being
copied for screening, said the spokesman.
- He said NATO was aware of the
problem since last October
but did not consider it "useful"
to disclose it.
- The Frankfurt newspaper said the US air force, which
out the bombardment, had not noticed for some months that the tape
been speeded up, and also attributed it to a technological error.
- "We did not deem
it useful to go public with this
information after we noticed it,"
the newspaper quoted a US air force
spokesman in Europe as